PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Senate Republicans have chosen a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office as the person to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of attacking her at a hearing on Thursday.
Rachel Mitchell is the sex crimes bureau chief for MCAO and is the GOP's choice to conduct the questioning of Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Mitchell is a registered Republican and has worked for the County attorney's office for 26 years.
A news release from committee chairman Chuck Grassley's office describes Mitchell as "a career prosecutor with decades of experience prosecuting sex crimes."
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said she is "professional, fair, objective and has a caring heart for victims."
"Mitchell has lectured and trained around the country on the topic of sexual assault investigations and prosecutions," said Amanda Jacinto with MCAO in a statement.
“The American people can be confident that Rachel Mitchell’s experience as a conscientious prosecutor, trained to seek justice, protect victims, and pursue truth will assist the Senate Judiciary Committee in performing its important task," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while they were both in high school. Kavanaugh has denied the claim.
The committee has scheduled a vote for Friday, a day after the testimony hearing.
The committee will be voting on whether to recommend Kavanaugh's nomination to the full Senate.
Senators were told to be prepared for a rare weekend session and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was confident Kavanugh would be confirmed.
Full statement from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office can be read below.
"Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Division Chief for the Special Victims Division, Rachel Mitchell, has been selected to assist in the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. Division Chief Mitchell’s area of responsibility includes the supervision of prosecutors who handle cases involving the prosecution of sexual assaults, as well as cases involving the physical and sexual abuse of adults and children.
Mitchell has lectured and trained around the country on the topic of sexual assault investigations and prosecutions. She is professional, fair, objective, and has a caring heart for victims. She has been instrumental in developing protocols for the investigation of child abuse and sexual assault cases enhancing the ability for victims to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect while holding offenders accountable.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery added, “The American people can be confident that Rachel Mitchell’s experience as a conscientious prosecutor, trained to seek justice, protect victims, and pursue truth will assist the Senate Judiciary Committee in performing its important task.”
No further information will be released at this time."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.